Meeting Innovations recently attended two Familiarization events with the Magnificent AM Resorts Group. Both Fams were exceptional, highlighting their superb properties in Riviera Maya, Cancun & Jamaica. Our wonderful host treated us to a marvelous trip including private tours, cooking classes, zip line adventures, you name it …… all wrapped up in amazing service, lush settings and high end all-inclusive hotels.
While Fam trips are usually filled with fun activities, overflowing umbrella drinks and delectable meals, AM Resorts added a special surprise to our experience. Attendees were able to participate in a Corporate Social Responsibility activity at each destination. In Mexico, AMStar DMC, selected a neighborhood located approximately 2 hrs from Cancun called “La Jungla.” This underprivileged village has no running water, crumbling mud huts and no access to transportation. It is home to approximately 100 families, with over 150 children with very limited resources. AM Resorts & Amstar DMC asked all attendees in advance to “adopt” a child. They provided us letters from the children, with items they would like as gifts. One could not help but to tear up at the letters… requests included: a soccer ball, a doll for my sister, even milk and diapers. Meeting Innovations adopted 5 children and loaded a suitcase full of soccer balls, Barbies, crayons, coloring books, backpacks and everything we could fit, without going over the 50 lb baggage limit (Thanks United – insert sarcasm!) During a special luncheon at the lovely Now Jade Hotel, we were able to meet the children and some of the mothers … who broke our hearts when they thanks us for giving their kids their first presents ever…. oh Lord, wish we had brought more.
In Montego Bay Jamaica while staying at the splendid Secrets Resort Orchid, we assisted the hotel staff on one of their usual outings to Catherine Hall – a modest school for underprivileged children in the area. Each Fam attendee was asked to bring school supplies, crayons, backpacks to share between the 200+ children. Again, endless tears wept as we saw the smiling faces of beautiful children receiving a box of crayons or jumping for joy when receiving a backpack. We were thanked with smiles, hugs and presentation of traditional Jamaican songs, beautifully acted & danced out by the adorable children. Once presents were presented, we headed outside to work – paint, plant & beautify the school was the goal. Many hotel staffers, including the carpenters, and property painters were on hand to teach & supervise the novices… the collaboration was not only incredibly rewarding, but we truly saw the gracious nature of the hotel staff, who has adopted Catherine Hall in order to continue helping them throughout the year.
Each AM Resorts was incredible…. perfect places for upscale meetings and incentives – However, we found the true value of these properties was their philanthropic staff, who give to these communities on an ongoing basis and have taught us to promote giving back at every single one of our events.
Thanks to AM Resorts & Amstar DMC, we had the chance to take a step back and remember how blessed we are… as meeting planners, we travel all over the world, partake in once in a lifetime experiences and celebrate each destination with decadence and opulence. Let’s share the wealth a bit more whenever we can…. Next trip, bring a few extra school supplies or toys to leave some as gifts for the staff or leave a little extra cash to the housekeeping staff and pass our blessings on.